Classroom Management

The Top 10 Art Supplies to Add to Your Order in 2014

Like most art teachers, new art supplies make me happy. I secretly wonder if other art teachers had an obsession with art supplies when they were little like I did. I specifically remember getting my first box of glitter crayons and arranging my 64 pack in rainbow order. My heart skips a beat each fall when the custodian walks into my room pushing a dolly jam packed with new supplies. (Don’t you get any ideas- the only thing making my heart beat is the supplies!)
While my small budget makes it difficult to order everything on my wish list, there are some things I just can’t pass up, and I want you to know about them too!

Here are the top 10 art supplies you should add to your order in 2014.


1. Liquid watercolors

I’m a big fan of the traditional Prang watercolor paints, so I was reluctant to try liquid watercolors. After ordering my first bottle, I am convinced they are worth the investment. Since I still order Prang watercolors, I order specialty liquid paints like the glitter, neon, or metallic colors.

2. Specialty Crayons

Whatever you do, do not overlook the power of a simple crayon. Crayons can be used in so many different ways: independently, with watercolor paints, on clay, and more. My favorite crayons are Crayola Glitter, Crayola FX Metallic, Crayola Gold and Silver and Sargent Fluorescents.

3. Heavy Duty Construction paper

TruRay is my favorite brand of construction paper. It comes in a variety of colors, is smooth in texture and is thick enough to use with watercolor paint. If you’d like to see samples, you can order a free swatch book!

4. Paint and Clay Texture Rollers

These are fantastic. They are an awesome investment every art teacher needs to make. I love to use them to create texture on clay pieces or while creating paste paper. The quality is great and they come in fun patterns. I hope they come out with more designs soon!

5. Silver Sharpies

Silver Sharpies are great for finishing details, labeling artwork and labeling things around the room.  They also look great on dark colored construction paper.

6. Safe-T Compasses

I can’t even being to tell you how much I love Safe-T compasses. Actually, I can. Read my article about them!. They’re great for drawing circles, easy to use, store, and are SAFE!

7. Sax 90 lb. drawing paper

Watercolor paper has never (and probably will never) fit into my budget. I can, however, afford watercolor paint. Therefore, I need a good quality paper for students to paint on. I found a good quality 90 lb. paper is “good enough” and gets the job done. I purchase Sax 90 lb. drawing paper because I think it’s the “whitest.”

8. Playcolor Poster Paint Sticks

My love for Playcolor Paint sticks began in 2013 at the NAEA convention. I was immediately drawn to how smoothly they went on the paper and how quickly they dried. After returning to my classroom, I let my students paint with them. They also have a love for these sticks. Do yourself a favor and buy a set, or two, or three. They also come in metallic and neon colors and in fabric paint!

9. Color Sticks

My middle school students love colored pencils for some reason. Color Sticks have been a great addition to my classroom because they allow my students to fill in larger areas of colored pencil drawings more easily. The best part is that they don’t roll off the table!

10.  Portfolio Series Oil Pastels

These oil pastels are smooth and come in a variety of great colors. My students grab these oil pastels before all others. They are a little more expensive than other brands, but luckily, they last a long time.

There are so many more items I would love to share with you!

I have to know, what supplies are on your must order list?

If budget didn’t matter, what would your dream splurge be?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Cassidy Reinken

Cassidy Reinken, an art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She enjoys helping students solve problems and reach their potential.

More from Cassidy